Hospital, insurers fight putting Medicaid residents at risk

March 5, 2019

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — Thousands of southeastern New Mexico residents enrolled in Medicaid may soon not be able to access Lea Regional Medical Group and its physicians for non-emergencies.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports Lea Regional Medical Group recently alerted Medicaid patients in Lea County they may not be able to use the hospital for non-emergencies after this month because of an impasse in contract negotiations with health insurers.

Lea Regional Medical Group, the only hospital in Lea County that provides obstetric services such as labor and delivery, is encouraging local Medicaid patients to contact state lawmakers for help.

The New Mexico Department of Health says around 39 percent of Lea County residents, or 27,500 people, are enrolled in Medicaid.

State Sen. Gay Kernan, a Hobbs Republican, says she’s hopeful both sides will come to an agreement.